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May 14, 2022 08:00am
Your Time is Short. Pack It With Prayer.
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Luke 23:46 – Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!” Then he breathed his last.

Deathbeds can produce regrets, eternal hope, confessions, comforting words, or defiance. Final hours reveal some fighters ‘til the end, while others indicate acceptance of their fate and drift away. We don’t know how our final chapter will unfold, but hopefully, we have preached our funeral in advance by the life we have chosen to live! 

As a little girl, I distinctly remember sitting by the bedside of my grandparents in their final hours. Early on, it was impressed upon me how crucial prayer can be in our final destination. Christ offers. We choose.  Let’s be clear; if your living doesn’t include the admission of your sins, and the confession of Jesus as your Savior, then you (like Eve or the rich young ruler) have been deceived. Jesus is the only doorway to heaven (John 14:6). There is no wiggle room for double-mindedness in His Word. No flying under the spiritual radar.

Last words can be a window to our soul, our priorities, and our legacy:

Harriet Tubman, who rescued countless enslaved people through the Underground Railroad stated, “Swing low, sweet chariot.”

Basketball great “Pistol” Pete Maravich collapsed during a pickup game.  His last words: “I feel great.”

Bing Crosby, the first multimedia star, signed off with, “That was a great game of golf, fellers.”  

I remember the gifting of my last conversation with my precious Dad. He wanted to spend his last season of life at home. Shortly before he passed away and after a few days of silence with hospice, his strong voice returned and he requested a conversation gathered at his kitchen table. He succinctly went through his folders of prepared paperwork. Everything was in order from the details of his service to the “paid in advance” arrangements for burial and final requests. He told us again of the details of his salvation as a small boy walking home in Marshall, Arkansas, where he stopped to slip into the back row of a local outdoor revival, alone. Prayer changes things. He went home that night assured of his salvation and final destination. As we concluded our last sacred exchange, he chose his final words carefully and in true Bill Pate fashion said, “Now, is there anything else I can do for you, before I leave?”  Even typing the words takes my breath away. He was with Jesus hours after those precious words.

Jesus’ final words:

To the world: “It is finished.”

To God: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” 

Jesus spoke seven different times on the cross. Each statement holds meaning to examine. Followers of Christ can live in confident trust of their eternal security with Him and, additionally, to live the abundant life here on earth. Prayer is the prescription for both. Your time is short. Pack your days with prayer. Every conversation with the Father is fruitful. You won’t surprise Him with your inadequacies. 

He knows your heart and calls you His. Turn your deathbed into a doorway to your heavenly Father. Seek prayer to light your earthly path. Christ is the key that opens your heavenly home.

Copyright © 2022 by Kerry Stitch Lifeword.org. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from Lifeword.org